Recorded live and in concert on March 28, 2018. Music Academy of the West 2017 Marilyn Horne Song Competition Winners Soprano Hannah Rose Kidwell and pianist Christina Giuca present an exciting and varied program of vocal works including Jake Heggie’s These Strangers based on texts by Emily Dickinson, Frederick Douglass, Martin Niemöller and Walt Whitman commissioned specifically for the Music Academy of the West.
Soprano Hannah Rose Kidwell, 21, born in Montebello, California is a third year bachelor’s student at Chapman University. In Chapman’s opera program, Ms. Kidwell has performed in Donizetti’s L’Elisir d’Amore, Kurt Weill’s After Dark, and portrayed the title role in Puccini’s Suor Angelica. Ms. Kidwell most recently made her debut with The Pacific Symphony as the Witch in Hansel and Gretel. Ms. Kidwell was a semi-finalist and scholarship winner at the national Classical Singer Competition, the winner of the New Century Singer’s Competition, and the most recent winner of the Vocal and Concerto Competition at Chapman University.
Hailed as a “sensitive partner” by the New York Times, Romanian-American pianist Christina Giuca enjoys a dynamic career as a collaborator, solo artist, and educator. She is passionate about performing contemporary music and has premiered numerous works for solo piano and chamber ensemble. As an orchestral pianist, she has performed with conductors Michael Tilson Thomas, Pablo Heras-Casado, and Cristian Macelaru. As an opera coach and répétiteur, she has prepared productions of L’elisir d’Amore, La Clemenza di Tito, Hänsel und Gretel, Rigoletto, Don Giovanni, Die Zauberflöte, and the world premiere of Elena Langer’s Four Sisters. Festival appearances include the Music Academy of the West, Aspen Music Festival, and the International Musicians Seminar at Prussia Cove. Professional appointments include serving on the music staff for the Houston Ballet, Opera in the Heights, Eastern Music Festival, and SongFest.
Born in Chicago, Ms. Giuca began her piano studies at age three. She holds degrees from the Oberlin Conservatory and Rice University’s Shepherd School of Music and was awarded a Postgraduate Collaborative Piano Fellowship from the Bard College Conservatory. Her teachers include Warren Jones, John Churchwell, Tamara Sanikidze, Frank Corliss, Brian Connelly, and the late Emilio del Rosario.
This season, Ms. Giuca will perform in Carnegie Hall’s 2018 “The Song Continues” series in masterclasses with Marilyn Horne, Renée Fleming, and Graham Johnson. She will also serve as a member of the Opera Theater of St. Louis music staff and be featured as a guest artist at the Oregon Bach Festival Composers Symposium.